Sunday, September 21, 2008

The sky is always falling

The story of this presidency, repeating as tragedy and farce: Crisis X is mounting and will cause the end of Western Civilization. Emergency Plan Y must be put into effect this week or we are all DOOMED. Anyone who looks askance at Y is dangerously naive and will be the first up against the wall when X hits the fan.

Y has been, variously, putting domestic communications in the hands of the NSA, the PATRIOT Act, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the perpetrators of 9/11, invading a country without a casus belli, torturing the innocent and the guilty in our public and secret prisons, putting enemy combatants outside of the purview of the justice system, sending untracked cash to the money pit that was the Iraq Reconstruction...

This week, Y equals a 700 billion dollar bailout for Wall Street, run by the Secretary of the Treasury, with actions not reviewable, period. Here's the draft:

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

I read The Big Picture and Infectious Greed to stay informed on the markets and the economy, and so should you. There are many many problems with this corporate welfare, but here's the obvious one: this is a replay of the Iraq Reconstruction, only instead of sending pallets of cash to God-Knows-Who, we taxpayers are sending pallets of cash to honest-to-God Wall Street fat cats, no strings attached.

Like the other Xs, the crisis is overblown, but we are being asked not to take time to think things through. Like the other Ys, the solution is half-baked and likely to be counter-productive in the long run, and hands over power to an unaccountable elite.

Chicken Little is our President. The sky is always falling: it is in stable geosynchronous orbit. We don't govern anymore. Instead, we continuously manage our way from crisis to crisis. There is no normal. Heart rates are always up, blood is always pounding through our brain, fight or flight. We have no long-term vision for policy, just tunnel vision.

This is one of my criticisms of the Democrats. On issues like this one, they aren't liberal and wonky enough. They don't get their dander up and stand firm against the excesses of the latter-day conservative movement, and, more importantly, they don't deconstruct the fear-mongering that spins us from emergency to crisis to apocalypse.


Vince said...

Agreed. Democrats are NOT old-school 'New Deal' enough. We have elected a mediocre bunch that only sound good on 30-second TV spots.

Anyone who is knowledgeable (see Obama) is considered elitest. Does anyone in government remember John Maynard Keynes? Not.

Bunky said...

Democrats might be mediocre right now but they're certainly not dumb and they generally don't have admiration for "their" people being portrayed that way. The whole elitist thing is a Republican talking point that has been taken to the extreme in their nomination of hockey mom, Sarah Palin.